The Sierra Leone delegation, headed by Minister of Tourism, Dr Memunatu Pratt, is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding which is aimed at strengthening tourism cooperation between Sierra Leone and Jamaica.

This MOU is expected to boost Sierra Leone’s tourism sector and more especially to capitalize on tourism offerings between Jamaica and Sierra Leone.

Jamaica’s Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is focused on assisting destinations in preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and related crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.

It was the first academic resource centre dedicated to addressing crises and resilience for the travel industry of the region following its introduction in 2018, several satellite centres have been launched in Kenya, Nigeria and Costa Rica. Others are in the process of being rolled out in Jordan, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria.

Speaking on the collaboration between the two countries, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett said;

“With the strong historical and cultural association between Jamaica and Sierra Leone, it is strategic to collaborate and strengthen our tourism cooperation. Both countries have a lot to offer in tourism and we can capitalize on this to build out new experiences for our visitors.”

Dr Memunatu Pratt also discussed their participation in the upcoming Global Tourism Resilience Conference that will be held in Kingston at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters from 15-17 February 2023.

The prevailing discussions will be centred on air connectivity, training and development, marketing and promotional activities, cultural exchange, tourism diversification, growth and resilience.

In his statement, Edmund Bartlett said, the Covid-19 pandemic is a tangible example of tourism’s vulnerability to disruptions and a major area of focus will be fixed on resilience and resilience building to ensure a better future for the tourism industry.

He said, “Tourism resilience is now at the heart of the industry’s survival. We must as destinations, exchange ideas and best practices to create the infrastructure to build capacity to detect, respond and recover from these disruptions,”

It is noted that further discussions to finalize the MOU between both countries were rescheduled for the margins of the Global Tourism Resilience Conference where both countries will meet at one working point.